Tag Archives: books

Spring, Books, and Motivation

Motivation ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve had a hard time with motivation this week. Some weeks are easier than others. I really like it when I get most of the week’s blog posts done on one day. I tend to have a better week when I don’t have the post to do every day.

I’ve not been drawing every day either. I’ve been doing the Festina Lente all in one or two days too. That’s the biggest reason I’ve been doing all week’s prompts in one piece. (You can see them on m Wonder Wednesday posts.)

This is what the Bradford Pear trees and the daffodils look just a week after the last pictures I posted of them.

Bradford Pear Trees full bloom ~ Lifeofjoy.me Daffodils in full bloom ~ Lifeofjoy.me Bradford Pear tree flowers ~ lifeofjoy.meIt’s so pretty. I love the springtime. :)

Books~ Lifeofjoy.meI started a new book this week. Most of the time when I read descriptions they are lost on me. I don’t enjoy them and I glaze over a lot of the time and have to re-read the important bits. However this new book, Delicious!, is different. In the beginning, it is about a gal who gets a job with a food magazine and has that ability to name the ingredients in the foods.

In this book, I love the descriptions. :D I guess because they are food based, generally. I have no idea how it is going to progress, other than what the summary said, and hope that it stays as engaging for me as it has started out to be. If it does, I’ll have to look for more books with food in the forefront. ;)

We should have gone to the library for our monthly visit this week but we renewed our books for a second time and will go in a couple weeks when they are due again. Of the six books I checked out, I’ve now completed three.

I read the crossword puzzle one, A Clue for the Puzzle Lady, this week. I didn’t really care for the main character and have no idea how they can make a series out of this but the eighteenth, yes 18th, one came out last year. I’ll probably get the next on our next trip to the library, to see where it goes.

I’ll probably finish this one before the weekend is over and Tamar is so short it won’t take long at all to get through it. Then all I have left from the library is Anathem, which is a very large book. I started it last week but struggled with it–the descriptions really had me struggling–then I put it down and picked up the crossword one. So, we’ll see if I can get into it after I finish Delicious!

Tiffany, Lauren and I are going to buddy read Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. None of us has started it yet and I hesitate to start it before re-attempting Anathem because I know I’ll love it and that may make Anathem difficult to read. ;) But we shall see.

Books Cookies and Motivation ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think I figured out how to make the Resurrection Rolls low-carb/keto/THM-compliant and am looking forward to making them when the kids come up in a couple weeks. I’m also planning to make the Easter Cookies next week. (I shared links to both of these yesterday.)

I’m very excited about this even though nobody else in the family is sharing my excitement. I’ve already got my ham for Easter dinner, although I will have to get my turkey ham for Michael next week. I’ve been looking for one for months because Michael cannot currently eat ham without breaking out in a rash. The last two times I made ham, I got him turkey pastrami from the deli. It works just as well although a bit smaller. I really hope I can find the turkey ham but will get a hunk of the turkey pastrami if need be.

Well, that is enough rambling for today. If I work out a good tasting low carb alternative to those Easter treats, I’ll share on a Tuesday.

Until next time, God Bless,

Michele ºÜº

Kittens and Book Review: The River of No Return

Book: River of No Return ~ Lifeofjoy.meOh my gracious! I was going to talk about how much everything has changed in just a week but I just finished my first book read of April and that is where my mind is right now. And Fridays are for whatever is on my mind, right? ;)

So the book I just finished is The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway. It is 452 pages in the hardback format and a pretty good read centering around time travel. :) I love a good time travel story.

Now here are my disclaimers: this book had a couple of curse words but not much for an adult fiction book and there were two intimate scenes and two short suggestive scenes that can easily be skipped over. That’s it.

So I really enjoyed the twists in this book and enjoyed the read . . . until the last 50 pages when things started to feel a bit rushed and definitely at the last 25 pages where it was super rushed! Although the romance in this book resolved well, it seemed as if that was THE thing that the author was focusing on. There are so many loose ends: Who is Mr. Mibbs? Can Julia and Nick penetrate the Pale? What caused the Pale? Can the Pale be stopped? What about Jem Jemison? Is he really only what Nick thinks he is? And don’t even get me starting on Nick and Julia learning how to use their abilities!

Most of the story was told very thought out, with enough hints about twists to come as it went along. It had a good pace until it got down to those last 25-50 pages. Then all of a sudden it stopped letting the story unfold and started summarizing the story! Ugh! Those last 50 pages could have easily be another 100 to 150 to do it right.

Then the ending just kind of . . . plop! That’s it . . . The End but is everything like it was or is it different? I enjoyed the book but I’d have enjoyed it so much more if it had been wrapped up better.

So what do I do? I look to see if there is a sequel hoping to find the answers to my questions and continue the story and what do I find? This book has a copyright of 2013. That is six years ago; just sayin’. ;) I find that there is a prequel called the Time Tutor but it is only a novella and is a meer 90 pages about Alva Blomgren and Ignatz Vogelstein. While I think it might be interesting, ninety pages is not very long at all and with how abruptly this book ended, I’m not sure I want to get my hopes up.

I also saw, in an interview with the author, that she was working on a sequel with a working title of Brothers and Sisters but that it was going to be another ‘love story’ and centered around two different characters putting Nick and Julia as secondary characters. This saddens me. :( I love stories that the sequel picks up right where it left off with the same characters.

The Stormlight Archive does sequels right but I’ll I’ll talk about that another day. However I read The Rook by Daniel O’Malley and was eager to pick up the sequel, Stiletto. Unfortunately, this book introduces two new characters and sets the story around them rather than the main character of the previous book. I could not get behind that and decided not to finish it. I just don’t have time to push myself to read a book that I don’t really care about the characters especially when it was touted as being a continuation of the story of the main character but thumbing through the pages, it is hard to even find her name mentioned. Very sad. I’ll talk more about that book at another time though.

New Kittens ~ Lifeofjoy.me

In other news, we had kittens born yesterday. The mother cat, Kit Kat, generally only has two kittens. This time she had four. two black and white ones and two tabbies. Two have tails and two don’t. So I guess six weeks from now, we will have some kittens to give away.

Well, it’s been a week of sinus headaches in our house. Even after the rain the other night, we were still attacked with headaches. Ugh! I’ll run for now.

Until next time,


March Library Run and the Weekend

I finally got tired of waiting on Tiffany to finish reading Oathbringer and I was ready to read some more, so I started the book Sean read last month. It sounded interesting to me. It’s called Rook. It grabbed me from the start and I’ve not liked having to put it down but alas, there are things that must be done. I am just glad that the thirst for reading has returned. :)

We did our monthly library run today. I like that you can only renew books over the phone once. It makes me both more diligent to read but then also forces us to actually go to the library.

I got way too many books but since I’m not sure if I’m going to like them, and thus finish them all, I think it will be okay. Of course, there have been very few books that I have not  liked so much that I did not finish (dnf) them. Michener is one of those authors that I just could not read. I tried really hard to but I just couldn’t. When Michael and I were first married, nearly thirty-two years ago now, I got a subscription to Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I loved it but one month they included one of the newest books of Michener in the collection and I tried to read it, as I did all the included books. This time though his book was half of the collection! So I tried but I just couldn’t. I get lost in descriptions of places and people and things. I finally just had to put it down. Then not long thereafter another of his books was in the collection, so I tried it, hoping that maybe it was just that book. Nope! Tolkien was that way for me when I we used it as a read aloud when my kids were mostly in their teens. I think the trouble with that one may have been the length of the chapters and feeling like I’d never get through with the chapter to move on. I may try again but not now. :D

TBR March '19 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve got a mix of fiction, including mystery and science fiction. I would put The Rook in the fantasy genre from what I’ve read so far, as it has an X-Men feel to it but Sean, who has read it already, says it is espionage (a genre I love, or at least I did once ) and paranormal.

I also got Unveiled which is a novella by Francine Rivers about the Biblical character Tamar. It is a short read and I enjoyed Redeeming Love by her, so I thought I’d give this a try.

A Clue for the Puzzle Lady looked interesting. Well, actually there was a whole shelf dedicated to this series of books and it intrigued me, so I quickly googled which one was the first in the series and chose it to bring home. We’ll see. There are soooooooo many different mysteries at our library; I think my mom would love it.

A few of those are time travel books and believe it or not, they weren’t all in the science fiction section. Two of them that I got deal with mail, which I thought was an interesting coincidence.  And The River of No Return is a book I picked out myself but when I showed it to Tiffany she informed me that she had borrowed that one from the Tulsa library system and it had been on her shelf for about a year and never got around to reading it.

2.5yo grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meIn other news, Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming up this weekend. It is sooo hard to believe that Liam is nearly approaching three years old. Thus, he’s in a toddler bed at home and will not be in the pack-and-play to sleep at night. This should be interesting!!! :) Especially considering the room we usually put him in has soooo many things that he is not supposed to get into. It’s not been a big problem before because he was in the pack-and-play but this time will probably be a bit more interesting. I’m trying to get it a bit ‘child proofed’ before they get here but we’ll see how it goes. :o

We have three birthdays to celebrate this weekend. If my other sister and her family lived in town, there’d be four as one of my nephews’ birthdays is just two days after Sean’s. It makes for a busy month. :D

I’ll run for now,

Michele ºÜº

Blind Date with a Book

Blind Book Date ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Probably should have used a few more words but I did it quickly. ;)

Have you heard of Blind Date with a Book? I hadn’t until Tiffany told me about it when I was contemplating what to write for today’s post.

It looks like this was the idea of Karissa, a librarian in Canada. You can read about how she did this here. From what I’ve gathered, she wanted a different kind of display for Valentine’s Day and came up with idea to wrap the cover of a book with brown craft paper and give some key words to describe the book. As she said, the descriptions were kind of like a dating ads. The idea is to get people to try out a book based on the keywords, not on the cover. It seems that she started this back in 2015.

There is actually a company that sells books this way, except that they are completely wrapped and you must unwrap them to read them. I think this takes away from the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ aspect though.

Karissa said that she was playing with the idea of a ‘what did you think’ form to get some feedback from patrons. Another library in Virginia took off with that idea and included a ‘Rate Your Date’ questionnaire in each book and enticed patrons to fill them out and return them to be entered for a prize drawing. :) What fun.

So, are there some books you have wanted your kids to read but didn’t want to just make them read them? How about covering several different ones, putting some key words on the cover, and letting them pick one to read? It could be biographies or fiction or even easy picture, whatever books you want to dress up and make a fun ‘game’ of it with.

If you are part of a homeschool group, you could do this as a group. It could either be done as a secret santa kind of thing or as a book loan, where the owner of the book has their name in the back to be returned at the next gathering.

If you give this idea a try, let me know how it went.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. I came across this really neat idea for some YA books. I don’t know about the books themselves but I thought the approach was quite well thought out, to enable the blind date with a book virtually. When you click on the ‘ad’ you liked, you are taken to the book on amazon. I loved her descriptions/ads


Art and Reading

#valentangle2019 day 4 ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere we are, knee deep in February. Although only a week has passed, it already feels as if I haven’t much of it left. I guess part of it has to do with the art challenge I’m doing this month, Valentangle 2019, since it is only two weeks long. I was doing quite well with it until Tuesday when the challenge was to tangle on something other than the usual tile/paper and the example was a rock. This caused me to think too much and I wanted to read the novel Tiffany and I had started, instead of thinking outside the box on this one. So, I got de-railed. Then Wednesday, I had to finish off the book (more on that in a minute) and wanted to play the new Kingdom Hearts game that Sean bought and didn’t do that day’s prompt either. So I’m behind, but will probably catch up before the weekend is over.

Tiffany and I started reading the The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson together. Well, together as in, I read and she reads up to where I am, and so forth. It’s nice to be able to talk about the book together as we read it. Of course that requires that we keep up with each other.

We’d gotten to a bit of frustrating and slow part, which did last for a while but was sooooo worth it by the last several chapters. Now, if you are not familiar with The Stormlight Archive series, it is a fantasy series and each book is over 1000 pages long. No that is not a typo! It is actually in the science fiction section of the library which is how I would classify it. There is much character development and many questions throughout most of those 1000 pages. Thankfully, some of those questions are answered in the final several hundred pages and make the tedious pages worth reading. :)

There are currently three books in this series purported to be ten books when it is complete. I’ve really only ever read one longer series like that where I had to wait on the next book to be published and it was very difficult to wait. Before the new book’s release, I frequently reread the existing books, only to be very frustrated when the author did a lot of review. I hope this doesn’t turn out the same way.

Reading Tomes ~ Lifeofjoy.meAny way, since the books are so long, the first one is usually checked out of the library because people don’t get through the second one before realizing that they need to reread the first tome again. So, we had the second and third books in the series before the first. Then went through all kinds of things (ebooks, audio book, kindle prime, litsy and others) to get our hands on the first book. We got the audio book, a whomping thirty-some cds, and started listening. Big mistake! This was the first audio book I’d done in a very long time and the first Brandon Sanderson novel. I had Tiffany stop it several times in the first couple chapters just so I could ensure I was understanding right. Funny thing was that our player was on shuffle and it wasn’t being read in order. :o :o However even after playing in the right order, I still found I needed the visual support, so we looked for the ebook or printed book again. Low and behold, it was already ready for us to pick up. :) But it would have to go back in just two weeks.

Two weeks to read 1007 pages. Not hard to do if there are not any other responsibilities but writing blog posts for five days in each week, daily art, household chores, and cooking; oh and don’t forget self-care . . . still gotta bathe, brush hair and stuff :D. At any rate, I finished it in the time allotted and hubby dropped it off for us so as not to accrue any MORE fines. ;)

Now I have the new Kingdom Hearts game to play and the second book has 1087 pages. I won’t go into the whole library debacle this week. I’ll save that rant for another time. Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming up this weekend, so I should have pictures to share next week. Lauren’s birthday approaches, so we will be celebrating with her.

Well, I’ll run for now. Have a great weekend and stay warm! (It’s freezing cold again here in Oklahoma–with virtually NO SNOW! Ugh!)

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº